Hanson vs. Edsforth Tomorrow

Tomorrow evening, classicist Victor Davis Hanson will debate peace studies professor Ronald Edsforth on whether preemptive wars to establish free societies are justified.

Hanson’s take on the War on Terror—when preemptive war has been used to such ends—is best outlined in his recent article on the successes of the conflict so far:

American troops are no longer guarding Wahhabist Saudi Arabia. For the first time since the 1950s, long-needed military redeployments are also underway from Germany to South Korea. Elections are days away in Iraq. There has not been another 9/11-like attack here at home, despite our enemies’ continual threats to trump their earlier foul work. Bin Laden is said to be a cultural icon, but why then can’t he show his face publicly for a single moment anywhere in the world?

Professor Edsforth maintains that the Iraq conflict is based largely on an American desire for economic resources:

Edsforth began the debate, calling an attack of Iraq an “unjust war of aggression against a country that has not attacked us and does not threaten us imminently.”

Edsforth spoke primarily on the motives of the Bush administration for a war in Iraq. In his view, the administration is using the pretense of an Iraq that is a danger to the world as a means for securing their own interests in the Middle East.

The war in Iraq, he said, “is an attempt to implement the National Security Strategy Plan,” which states that the U.S. should have an unprecedented degree of military power in the world.

The two face off in 105 Dartmouth Hall tomorrow at 7:30pm.